I draw table 15, seat 8 and start with 17k in chips.  There are 75 that entered the satty, so the top 15 will advance to the main event.  Using proper satellite strategy, I hope to accumulate enough chips to get the ticket (figure that number is around 50k) and then play very, very conservatively, even basically folding every hand, if I have the chips to do it. 

I start out the night on a positive note as my table is being passive on the first level, with the exception of seat 2, that is being very LAG.  On my BB, I get a limpfest which includes seat 2.  This is definitely out of character for him, so it’s sending up warning signals to me that he may be on a monster.  After 5 limps, I look down at AQo and being worried about seat 2, I decide to check and see the flop and sandbag my hand a bit.  The flop is Q 9 4 with two diamonds.  When the SB checks, I’m definitely not slow-playing this anymore and fire out a pot-sized bet of 650 that is called by seats 2 and 4.  I’m still putting seat 2 on a very large hand and seat 4, I’m guessing is on a draw.  The turn is the A of spades, which should be a jackpot card for me unless seat 2 has AA.  I lead out for 1500 and to my surprise, seat 2 mucks and seat 4 calls.  With the A scaring him, I really think he had KK there.  The river is the 5 of hearts, which should be a total blank.  I’m pretty sure that I’m ahead, so I want to make another value bet, but how much will this opp call?  I decide to make it slightly larger than my turn bet (so that I’m telling a consistent story) and opt for 1850.  The opp tanks for a minute or so and calls.  I flip over my AQ and take down a nice sized pot. 

Right after this, I go totally card dead for the second level, so I’m using this time to get reads on more of the players.  I find out that seats 7, 9 and 10 were all $80 satellite winners and they all played in one together earlier (seats 9-10 were the winners and seat 7 lost to them).  That satty must have been interesting, as the two of them started calling seat 10 the barracuda, so I figured that she must have won it and had the chip lead.  She’s already accumulated a number of chips and most of them have been chasing with trash hands (any A, any suited cards, just like you’d see online).  Seat 7 was also interesting.  The guy wouldn’t shut up and after playing with him for an hour or so, my memory got jogged a bit… I played with this guy a couple years ago in a WSOP Circuit event and was the same way.   Wouldn’t shut up and whines about everything.  He also has absolutely no clue on bet sizing, as he has now made three very abnormally large opening bets (6-10x) and keeps showing QQ+ and wondering and whining about why he’s not getting paid for any of them.. lol! 

The third level starts and we get a dealer change, to the one that Dave said to me before, is his favorite dealer in the place.  I take his word for it, but will soon have a very different opinion… more like dealer from hell.  The first hand I’m involved in I get there are three limps, then a raise to 600 (blinds are 100/200).  I look down at pocket queens and decide to 3-bet to 2k and get two calls, one of the limps and the initial raiser in seat 6.  The flop brings A K 3.  Seat 2 checks and seat 6 bets 7500.  This guy has only been in one pot all night and that overbet just screams AK, so into the muck go my queens.

Three hands later, I get 5 limps and look down at AK from the SB and I raise to 1300 (a pot-sized raise).  I get a call from seats 1 and 4.  The flop is a rainbow Q 8 4 and I decide to make a c-bet of 1750, as this is a board that they could have easily missed too.  Seat 1 tanks for a second and raises to 6k, soon followed by seat 4’s SHOVE!  Needless to say, my AK is going into the muck.  Seat 1 tanks and mucks, showing a Q.  Seat 4 turns over 88.  At the end of this level, the floor decides that he’s putting us on break, even though the 10 min break isn’t supposed to be until after level 4?!  With as poorly as the tourneys have been run so far... it shouldn’t have surprised me.  I end this session with 14825 in chips and there are still 6 tables left.  That dealer may have been Dave’s favorite, but did absolutely no favors to my chip stack.

The seconds session starts and the antes kick in (100/200/25).  Same dealer for the beginning part of this level and at least she isn’t giving me any hands where I’m losing chips, other than paying blinds and antes.  I’ve got totally easy decisions… 28o, muck, J2o, muck, K3o, muck.

We get a new dealer now and the blinds go up to 200/400/50.  Same thing here.  I’m totally card dead.  However, the table dynamics are changing, as seats 1, 2, and 3 are now raising and 3-betting everything.  Seats 9 and 10 have now tightened up some (although that wasn’t too hard for seat 10, as she was playing everything early). 

The next hand I get involved in is one where I pick up pocket 10’s and have seats 6 and 7 limp.  I make a standard raise to 1800 (2.5BB+1BB for each limper) and I go to the flop against only seat 7.  The flop comes 8 2 T and he checks.  With a flush draw out there, I make a c-bet of 2100.  He tanks a little, then whines about not hitting his cards on the flop and mucks.  Too bad that flop wasn’t a ten and hit one of his cards or I might have stacked him.

The blinds now go up to 300/600/75 and I’m back to being card dead.  I don’t get to play a single hand at this level, as the other end of the table is now in shove mode, as they’ve leaked off chips by playing too many hands.  At the end of the level, we’re wondering if we get another 10 min break (since we did after the first 3).  The floor is asked and after going up to the desk, comes back and tells us to keep playing, that we don’t get another break until after level 8.  I guess they’re trying to get back to what’s on the structure sheet, but playing for 90 min then a break, then 2.5 hours before the next break’s kind of weird.

We get back to playing at 400/800/100 and I’m down to just over 10BB, so I’m looking for a hand to go with.  I figure (with some good input from Sailor Moe and another player that I was talking to from the league that I play in) that 50k chips is the goal that I need to hit.  Both of them have sattied into an HPT thru one of these and 50-60k is what was needed in every instance to make it.  With under 10k in chips, I’ve got work to do. 

I get my chance as seats 6 and 7 limp and I look down at KQo.  KQ’s a hand that I’m more than happy to shove with, but I’m not calling a shove with it.  I’M ALL IN!  It folds to seat 4 that now goes into the tank.  He’s got about 30k chips and decides to call.  Tanking that long, then calling isn’t a play I’d make.  If I’m going to be in the hand, I’d have re-shoved, to try to get the limpers out of the hand too and isolate me.  This is especially true when he shows his 77.  I’d be ok playing it in a heads-up pot, but luckily for him, the two limpers folded and didn’t make it a multi-way pot.  The first card that I see on the flop is a Q and my pair holds and I double up to just under 20k chips!

When it gets to my button, I now get new players in seats 1-3, as all of them bust.  I get three limps before me and I look down at AJs and raise to 3750.  I get one caller, seat 5.  The flop is J 7 5 with two spades and the opp bets 1200, which looks to me like a newbie that’s trying to price in the flush draw.  Needless to say, I’m raising and raise to 7500.  Seat 5 now goes into the tank and after a few minutes, decides to fold and says that my pair is bigger than his.

The blinds now go up to 500/1k/100 and we’re now down to 5 tables, so just under 1 in 3 get a seat.  I’m totally card dead again this level, but we lose another table so at the second break, we’re down to 40 left and I have 23500.

We come back from break and I quickly figure out that my table is going to be the next to break.  The blinds are now up to 800/1600/200 and I’m getting more easy decisions, while others are busting out.  Seats 1, 4 (that tossed away over 30k in chips) and 6 all get ko’d.  Just as the blinds go up to 1k/2k/300, my table breaks and I draw table 14 seat 4.

I get to my new table and recognize two of the players from my previous table and two from event 1.  I also see that I’m one of the three shortest stacks at the table.  With 30 left and 15 seats, looking at the other table’s stacks (walked the long way to my new table so that I could take a peek), I’m sitting in about 21st place in chips and two of the lower ones are at my table.  Unfortunately for me, one of the shorties (about 13k) doubles, so I’m looking for any good situation to get my chips into.

My first opportunity comes when seat 1 opens to 6500 (his standard opening raise for this level that he’s making over 50% of the time) and seat 3 calls.  I look down at QQ and since a raise definitely pot-commits me, I’M ALL IN!  It mucks to seat 3 that goes into the tank for a couple minutes.  He’s only got about 30k chips, so if he calls and loses, he’s in trouble with me having about 20k.  He decides to muck and shows QJ.  I wish he’d have called, as I had him totally dominated and that would have put me right at the 50k goal.

An orbit later, we’re down to 25 left and as the cards are being dealt, it’s announced that the next hand, the blinds are going up to 1.5k/3k/400.  Seat 1 makes his standard open to 6500, go figure, and it folds to me.  I look down at JJ and once again and since a raise pot-commits me, I’M ALL IN!  It folds back to seat 1 that now goes into the tank.  After about 3 minutes, he decides to call and flips over AKo.  As the table bigstack, no clue why the guy’s tanking.  If I were him, I’m snap-calling as losing still leaves me with about 65k chips and I’ve got AK.  I count up the pot and there are 50200 chips in it, which means that if I can hold, I should be able to basically sit-out and get a $1650 ME seat.  The flop is 10 6 10.  Now, I’m a 76% favorite to get the seat.  The turn is a 4.  Now I’m an 88% favorite to get the seat.  The river is… the K of spades.  UGH! 

I needed to win a hand to get in and I was 100% ready to fold everything to get there, once I had enough chips.  Yes, I’d have even folded AA.  But, I didn’t get to the point where I had enough chips, so I had to play a hand to try to accumulate them.  Unfortunately for me, it didn’t work out.

The next event I’m playing is Event 5 at noon on Tuesday.  It’s a $185 bounty game with $25/head on everyone.  I played pretty well in event 1.  Played very well in the satty.  Hopefully in the bounty game, I’ll run a little better. 

I’m also going to the casino on Thursday, as there is going to be a get-together from the site where I won the tickets.  They’re raffling off some $180 satty seats, so there’s a chance I can play in one more satellite, if I can win the seat in the raffle.  I need to go there anyway, as I’m going to win an HPT jacket, from a series that is done on Wed evening, so if I need to go, might as well go and try to get the satellite seat.  It’d be poetic justice if I can win the raffle, then get into the ME thru the $180 satellite.  Needless to say, I’ll be doing a blog on these tournaments too.